Looking for a trip that saves on fuel? If you’re in the San Diego or Los Angeles area and want to get out of the city, Idyllwild is the perfect mountain escape. This funky mountain town is surrounded by pine forests and offers plenty, from unique dining and shopping experiences to hiking trails, scenic drives, and more. It’s also a pet-friendly destination, so bring along your four-legged friends.
Here are some of the best stops during a single-tank trip to Idyllwild.
Ernie Maxwell Scenic Trail: This popular out-and-back trail is a fun, moderate hike that winds through the forested foothills surrounding Idyllwild. You can bring dogs along for this hike as long as they’re leashed. Be prepared for colder temperatures as the trail climbs in elevation.
Ephemera: This wife-and-husband-owned shop offers funky, vintage goods you likely won’t find anywhere else. From clothing and coffee mugs to jewelry and home decor, you can shop for nostalgic finds from the 1940s to the ‘90s.
Dining and drinking: There are plenty of locally-owned establishments to check out in Idyllwild. Idyllwild Brewpub, the Wine Finch, Ferro, and El Buen Cacao are just a few of the town’s must-visit eateries.
Attractions: Take a stroll through Idyllwild Gardens, catch a movie or performance at The Rustic Theatre, browse the gourmet jerky at Coyote Reds, or test your artistic skills at Earth-N-Fire pottery and painting studio.
Meet the mayor: You’ll likely catch Max, the town’s dog mayor, strolling through the streets during your visit. Stop to say hi to—or pet—this four-legged politician, and be sure to deputize your own pup with an official Idyllwild mayoral tie.